I am a scrounge. An unabashed and unrepentant scrounge.
It really annoys me to pay $30 for a tree that sits in your house for two weeks and then you burn it.
I scrounge for Christmas trees.
I once found a baled Christmas tree alongside the road and brought it home. I did have to power wash it to remove the road grime, but it was an awesome tree, it was free!
So, when I saw the posts on facebook from my old Ag Teacher about trees for homeless people or whatever, thought in my small little scrooge of a brain... Trees for the poor means trees they can't sell so that means there will be a trailer load of trees somewhere, perhaps slightly deformed and a bit out of date but we have a smoke alarm and it is not like we put burning candles on trees in the 21st century!
Luck was with me yesterday when the young fellow that works for my neighbor came over for one 1/4" x 2" phillips head stainless screw. I couldn't find the stainless and he settled for a machine screw that had been on the shelf since Hector was a pup. I did throw in a free Pepsi... And then I set the hook.
Step one, Establish empathy...
Free Pepsi, and mentioning I saw on facebook how he got into tree charity work as a result of being in Ag Class and knowing Mr. W. I mentioned the unfairness of the photo of him being stuck. It was a good story, he was not stuck, Mr. W had gotten stuck and my friend was unsticking him but Mr. W took HIS photo and put it on facebook pretending that my friend was stuck, hence the extended middle finger... (Wow! That was a sentence to remember, but my motto is don't look back, don't proofread, so away we go!!!)
Step two, bait the hook...
"Well I hope you got a free tree," said I.
"That was the only good thing, I hate buying trees," said he.
Step Three: Set the Hook...
"Yes," said I.
"I always wait till the last minute cause I think I'll get a good deal, or find one alongside the road. We did that one year," I added, with a self-depreciating giggle.
"Well, we have extras, come get one!" said he...
Step Four: Gently Reel in...
"Oh I couldn't do that," said I, "You guys are selling them"
And you all know where it went from there.
I got two trees, one for me and one for my brother.
Now before you all judge me, remember the rule: If something it too good to me true, then it probably is...
So it is not the perfect tree, the Butt is huge and it ain't just the pants. I did have to cut off a little. This was fine as somehow I didn't think how tall a tree I was getting and it sort of hits the ceiling. Plus, it leans to one side just a little and I can't get it straight. I solved this problem by putting little wedges under one side of the couch and chair and hanging the TV slightly crooked on the wall. I'm sure my lovely wife will never notice. She was not at home...
UPDATE: I think I take too much credit to my salesmanship. The fellow offered me a tree because they had several they were going to have to throw away. I was going to give him the little bolt and a Pepsi anyway. My blog makes me sound like a scammer and not a scrounger.
3 hours ago